Asia-Pacific Region Increasing Focus on Patents

Innography was in Singapore this week at IP Business Congress Asia, a 2-day conference focused on IP in the Asia-Pacific region.  The major theme was the growth of focus on patents in the Asia-Pacific region, with applications rising throughout the region and some countries launching initiatives to create “IP hubs”.

The Asia-Pacific region is the largest and fastest-growing region for patent filings, with over 1 million patent applications overall in Asia in 2011, 41% of the world total, versus 500,000 for North America and 400,000 for Europe.

The fastest-growing Asia-Pacific country for patent activity is China.  Over 500,000 patent applications were filed in China in 2011, the most of any country worldwide and a 35% increase over 2010, and 172,000 patents were granted, 65% to China residents.  Other growing countries included South Korea, whose applications grew 5% in 2011 over 2010, and Hong Kong’s applications grew 15%.

At the other end of the spectrum for the major Asia-Pacific economies, 42,000 patent applications were filed in India in 2011, a 6% increase over 2010, but only 5,000 patents were granted, a 28% decrease from the prior year.  India-based companies and individuals are not filing very many patents, as only 21% of the patent applications in 2011 were by India residents.  India is investing more in their patent office however, planning to hire 500 patent examiners over the next 5 years to manage the application growth and to reduce the application backlog.

Earlier this year, both Singapore and Hong Kong announced government-sponsored initiatives to become “IP hubs”, investing in skills training for IP licensing and information transparency to make it easier to trade IP and to do business in their countries.

After meeting with dozens of clients, partners and prospects at the conference, we came away even more excited about the focus on and growth of intellectual property in the Asia-Pacific region.  You can expect even more product and support enhancements from Innography directed at the Asia-Pacific region in 2014

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